The Denim Window (TDW), a collective hub in Amsterdam where manufacturers, insiders and designers can connect, collaborate and discover new and sustainable ideas for creating jeans, will close by end of June 2021.
The project was founded by Silvia Rancani, an expert insider of the jeanswear and denim industry. It was born in October 2018 and started operating from January 2019. It was opened in a first highly inspiring location, at the West border of Amsterdam, near Halfweg where Kingpins was going to move, and more recently it moved to Schakelstraat, near Amsterdam-Sloterdjik, not far from Westergasfabriek, near the past location of the show.
Because of the pandemic, from an intimate meeting place where garments, fabric and accessory manufacturers, along with finishers, chemical and yarn manufacturers, held single or collective meetings with brands, designers and insiders, it transformed itself into a digital hub where key players and personalities discussed various topics with Rancani during Instagram-live broadcasting. Though, after 2019, when TDW held four collective presentations and additional one-to-one appointments, 2020 was not as successful.
According to Rancani, “The situation here in the Netherlands, but generally in the market, has reached a deadlock. Brands are not looking for new fabrics or new suppliers; they simply order some never-out-of-stock articles for pieces that complete the unsold products from the two past seasons, most of which are still laying in their warehouses. Moreover, as I personally don’t have any financial backer, I have no other financing than my annual contracts and most recently companies who agreed to sign one will stop by June as no clear evolution is predictable for anyone. I cannot continue running additional risks.” Moreover, in the Netherlands, the pandemic is not under control yet, and the number of vaccinated people is still behind for reaching an overall reassuring situation.
Rancani is specialised in product development, washing and fabric developments. She has been working for 16 years in this field, working for companies from Mauritius (Denim De l’Ile), Hong Kong (Coin Group), and Asia for Diesel’s Asian productive pole, among others.
Not very encouraging signs
According to Rancani, the signs of recovery are not encouraging. “Despite when the Covid pandemic burst out, everyone hoped that consumers would have gone back to buy responsibly, spending more for better quality products. I rather see the opposite as, for instance, here in the Netherlands, I see long queues of people in front of Primark, Pull & Bear and Stradivarius.
All signs that show that the spending power has shrunk but also that people are not willing to buy less but better.”
Moreover, European industry insiders are travelling due to the pandemic. Some brands have started working with nearer manufacturers and finishers, mostly located in the Mediterranean basin and Europe, where they can keep track of their work more easily. “My impression is that the denim market is not facing a great time for now….”